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Irving Zeitlin

of 2
soc203 january 17
-one of the greatest contributions marx makes is in the area of historical sociology
-3 component elements of Marx’s theory
-the first is hegel- he was a student of hegels
-Marx internalized the dialectical way of thinking
-the second component is french socialism (st. simon and others)
-the third component is english political economy- adam smith, david ricardo, james mill,
-Marx took political refuge in england for 30 years
-hegel believed that Reason and Spirit immanent
-hegel realized that nothing is static and the fact that everything is in flux was
fundamental to his thinking
-Marx would say it is unreasonable to send people into an unnecessary war
-Development for hegel means overcoming an internal contradiction
-the utilitarians had said that you should practice laissez faire
-the historical truth is that it never really worked that way anywhere
-St. Simon and other thinkers decided that the only way to overcome the defects of the
current system was to have rational planning of the economy. And the planners should
be the scientists. And its to be an authoritarian elitist system
-Is it possible to have a democratic form of socialism?
-was Marx a democrat because he does in fact use some authoritarian language
-the reason the term political economy is used instead of economics is because it is a
nationalist idea
-Marx recognized that as a result of the industrial revolution that you no longer had the
kind of capitalist competition
-what capital really means is not just property but rather the kind of wealth that allows
you to employ people
-Marx was among the first that there was a concentration of capital in fewer and fewer
-As a result of the expansion of the industrial revolution a new class emerged that was
different to any class that had existed previously in history
-prior to the industrial revolution there wasnt really such a thing as unskilled labor
-in fact in ancient rome there was a small class of unskilled labor but it was not a
growing class whereas what Marx noticed of the proletariat class was how fast the class
was growing
-alienation is the failure to recognize oneself in the otherness that one creates
-if we really recognized ourselves in others we would never enslave them etc.
-in economic terms you have no control over the product being produced and you likely
cannot afford to buy it
-Feuerbach was also a disciple of Hegel but he and his associates were materialists,
who saw matter at all that is existing and no spiritual driving force behind it
-what Marx says is that he is trying to construct a material conception of history
-Marx was profoundly influenced by the philosophical idealists
-Marx first agreed with hegelian leftists that it was worthwhile to tell people that they
were unhappy with their this worldly lives and created gods in their own image, but he
then moved on to say that telling people this would not really affect the system in a
meaningful way.
-Marx wrote 11 theses on feuerbach which were never published in his lifetime
-in his first thesis he writes that the chief defect of all materialisms is that they look upon
the human being as an object and not as an active subject. And he goes on to say that
the active creative aspect of the human being including the mind was discovered by the
philosophical idealists.
-Marx recognized that ideas from people like hegel and kant on metaphysics had to be
considered in an intelligent analysis of the human condition
-the empiricists said that all valid knowledge came form sensory experience- so this
leaves the question as to where ideas stand. One question that really troubled the
empiricist thought were the notions of time and infinity
-Bishop Berkely remained a philosophical idealist and said that the whole world is an
-Hume said that the imagination adds things like resemblance, cause, effect etc.
-kant replies that Humes mistake is saying that the mind adds, and says that the mind in
fact interprets. He says that there is always a subjective viewing of any so called event
-Marx posits that the only way you understand yourself as a concept is by internalizing
the other
-behaviorists believe that all knowledge comes from conditioning. Marx and others like
Mead are against this notion. If all knowledge is attained from conditioning then who
conditions the conditioners